Friday, October 24, 2014

The Doctors And Nurses Risking Their Lives To Provide Desperately Needed Treatment In Africa

These are true heroes.
I suggest reading the whole article at the link below:

by Tara Culp-Ressler Posted on October 24, 2014

Dr. Craig Spencer, the doctor in New York City who tested positive for Ebola after returning from treating patients in West Africa, is one of hundreds of health care workers who have caught the deadly virus while on the front lines of the outbreak.

The current Ebola crisis, which is the worst outbreak the world has ever seen, is taking a particularly large toll on doctors and nurses. At the end of August, the World Health Organization (WHO) started warning that an “unprecedented number of medical staff” was suffering from the virus. As of October 8th, more than 400 health care workers had been infected with Ebola in West Africa, and 233 of them had died.

The second biggest Ebola outbreak that’s ever occurred, which took place in the Congo in 1976, resulted in just 11 deaths among health care professionals.

One of the reasons that the current epidemic is so deadly for doctors, according to the WHO, is because there’s a serious shortage of staff available to help. The virus is ravaging countries that already had too few health professionals to begin with; while the United States has about 245 doctors for every 100,000 people, for example, Liberia has just 1.4. Plus, top doctors in Sierra Leone and Liberia succumbed to the disease this summer, undermining the countries’ medical expertise as well as depriving them of several national heroes.


Doctors Without Borders — one of the most respected humanitarian organizations in the world and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize — has been on the ground in Western Africa for months, trying to warn the international community to take the epidemic more seriously. “Governments with the necessary medical and logistical resources must go beyond funding pledges and immediately dispatch infectious disease experts and disaster relief assets to the region,” the organization’s president said at the end of the summer.

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